The first mural Xavier Moss ever painted, an eye-catcher in vibrant orange and blue hues, makes a bold statement at Oviedo on the Park, featuring celery, oranges, a swan boat and a rooster. The 28-year-old artist, who recently launched his own illustration studio, XMOSSART LLC, was tapped in the spring to paint three new murals inside the Oviedo Aquatic Center.
Moss also painted the Round Lake Park mural in Oviedo. He said he joked with city staff that he could be their artist-in-residence.
He said he found his niche while working on designs for the Aquatic Center murals, adopting an impressionistic style that felt very natural to him. He said he’d been fighting to use a certain style in the past, trying to fit a mold he admired in other artists.
Moss said he tried to use as few lines as possible so that the images in the murals seem to flow in one continuous motion, mirroring the fluidity of the sports that take place at the center.
“Like with the softball player [in the mural], I want people to feel that they could strike that pose and follow the movement,” he said. “It reflects the constant activity in how the lines never stop.”
Oviedo City Manager Bryan Cobb said the existing mural in the center was old and needed to be replaced. The Oviedo City Council approved the $14,500 project on Monday night.
“He really captured the essence of recreation,” Cobb said of Moss’ work.
The City of Oviedo’s Public Arts Board has been working with Moss on the project. Their role in the community is to review art, including murals and sculptures, the city installs to ensure they reflect the community and the space they’re in. The board, which was established in 2017, also works with developers who are building within the city, if they’re incorporating art into their projects.
Board Member Caryn Dahm, who owns A Create Place studio in Oviedo, said the board would also like to start planning art-related events in the city, such as an open-air painting festival and a photography contest.
Dahm said that when the art the board reviews involves people, they consider inclusivity so that anyone living in the city can see themselves reflected in the piece. She said Moss’ work fit that bill.
“We want people to have somewhat of a moment of comfort and question and thought and maybe emotions when they look at art,” she said. “We want the art that’s about the city to speak to a lot of different backgrounds so that it can be enjoyed by all.”
Moss said that as Oviedo’s population expands, it also becomes more diverse. He kept this in mind as he sketched.
“There are a lot more people discovering Oviedo,” he said.
Among the soccer ball, football, lacrosse stick and volleyball drawings in the main mural — which will measure 8 feet tall and 81 feet wide and live in the center’s hallway — are iconic Oviedo images, such as the Oviedo Amphitheater and football players in Oviedo High and Hagerty High Schools’ red and blue school colors. He included likenesses of the Nelson & Co. Water Tower and CrossLife Church because they’re the tallest buildings in town, constituting a skyline.
The sketch is still a work in progress, and Moss said people may find the form of a rooster in the waves of the pool within the finished product.